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L.A. developer is purchasing Vegas Hilton for $365 million

Buyer plans to expand on eateries and entertainment

SHARE L.A. developer is purchasing Vegas Hilton for $365 million

LAS VEGAS — Park Place Entertainment will sell the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino to Los Angeles developer Ed Roski Jr. for $365 million, officials said Tuesday.

"This acquisition moves our company into the midlevel gaming and hospitality arena," said Roski, co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and the Los Angeles Kings hockey club.

Roski's plans call for an increase in the Hilton's restaurants and entertainment and retail offerings. Though he said it was too early to discuss specifics, Roski said he will consider using the property's 30-acre undeveloped site to add as many as 1,500 hotel rooms and a timeshare development.

He also wants to add slot machines and remodel the casino and hotel rooms and suites.

The once-glamorous high-roller casino has struggled for several years because, many believe, of its off-Strip location next to the Convention Center and competition from new resorts that cater to high-end gamblers such as MGM Grand, Bellagio and the Mirage.

The property is to remain open and employees can expect to keep their positions, officials said. The sale also is not expected to affect plans to extend the Bally's-MGM Grand monorail to the Las Vegas Hilton.

Park Place officials said the sale will allow the company to consolidate its high-end gaming operations at Caesars Palace hotel-casino.

"We plan to use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt and repurchase the company's common stock," said Arthur Goldberg, president and chief executive officer of Park Place, which also owns Paris, Bally's and the Flamingo Hilton, all on the Strip.

In 1994, Roski built the Silverton hotel-casino, then called Boomtown, which he has operated since 1997. Roski also developed the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The sale, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.